With a brand new James Bond movie finally hitting the cineplex and a new ultimate collection of DVDs available for the 007 fan on your Christmas list, I thought it only fitting to review just who played Bond the best.
I’m uniquely qualified to express my opinion having seen every James Bond movie at least once and many multiple times and, in fact, being named after Sean Connery only adds to my credibility. I remember Sunday afternoons listening to Bond soundtracks on my parents’ old turntable and dissecting the soundtrack jackets. Bond is in my blood.
So, grab your Walther PPK and order up your Vodka Martini shaken not stirred and lets meet Bond, James Bond.
Pierce Brosnan – The jury for me is still out on Daniel Craig, so let’s start with the last actor to handle the Bond franchise. Coming to us from Remington Steele, a modest hit about a detective agency, Brosnan was the first choice of the producers to take up the mantle after Roger Moore. However, due to contracts he wasn’t able to sign until several years later. It was a good thing too since back then he was too foppish to be taken seriously as Bond. It would have been an extension of the Moore Bond comedies and I think the franchise might have been reduced to parody. When he finally got his shot, he was older, hardened and incredibly competent. He effortlessly straddles the line between Connery and Moore. It was unfortunate that some of the movies during his tenure aren’t that good (Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist? Yeah. Right.). They all have their moments, but aside from Goldeneye they are only passable.
Timothy Dalton – Probably the best actor out of the six, although Connery did win an Oscar, Dalton had two turns as Bond with one being good and one not so much. I loved his darker, brooding portrayal, but audiences were mixed. The teaser to The Living Daylights is one of the best and the chemistry between Dalton and Maryam d’Abo is palatable. Like Brosnan, he’s great at being hard one moment and soft the next. Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite deliver the witty one-liner like Moore.
Roger Moore – The very proper English actor started off strong with Live and Let Die and then completely went off into comedy until he became a mockery of Bondian proportions. Unlike Dr. Who, where whomever was playing the good doctor the first time you saw the show is your favorite, Moore doesn’t cut it for me. I have fond memories of seeing Moonraker in the theater with my parents, but I was still preoccupied with Star Wars and Moonraker was a pale imitation. I like lots of moments in the Moore films, but aside from Live and Let Die and For Your Eyes Only, I can do without, which sucks because he was in seven of the twenty-two movies. The most of any actor.
George Lazenby – The red-headed step child. would have easily been one of the best Bond movies with Connery in the role. In fact, along with From Russia With Love and Goldfinger, OHMSS is my third favorite Bond movie. George is passable and I think he might have grown into the role.
Sean Connery – The quintessential Bond. He’s the one that everyone has to compare to because he was the first. He’s also the best. The first four movies are nearly perfect. It got a bit out of hand with Diamonds are Forever and you can see the progression of the comedy elements at this point. Connery is the best mostly because his movies are arguably the best.
My top are as follows:
1. Sean Connery – Still the best
2. Pierce Brosnan – Goldeneye is still better than anything Moore ever did
3. Timothy Dalton – The Living Daylights is better than most Moore movies
4. Roger Moore – Stayed in the role far too long
5. George Lazenby – Never had a chance. Too bad.
Disagree? Agree? Got your own opinion?